A small heating unit is believed to have been the cause of a fire that destroyed a large hunting shack located in a wooded area off Cedar Lane and north of County K in the Town of Gardner Friday evening. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department wag paged out at about 7pm and the first units on the scene found the structure fully engulfed in flames. The owner, 50 year-old George Mangin of Manitowoc, made the 911 call and was overcome by smoke when he tried to retrieve items from the burning building.
Fire Chief Curt Vandertie said a combination of water and foam was used to knock down the flames. He said brush trucks were used because of the relatively remote area where the hunting shack was located. Chief Vandertie said there was some concern about diesel fuel and a propane tank, but fire crews were able to keep the fuel from igniting. He also said the recent rainfall kept the fire from spreading to nearby trees. Vandertie said oxygen was administered to Mangin who refused transport to hospital facilities. Mangin was medically cleared before firefighters left the scene shortly before 9pm.
As for the cause of the fire, the Manitowoc man said he tried to dry wet clothing by placing it on the small heater. He said he went back into the woods to continue working and, when he returned, he found the hunting shack was ablaze.